Notching up significant progress by climbing from 3,200 visitors in their debut year to 80,000 in 2013, the Nuits de l’Orientation (Orientation Nights) will be representing 150 different professions this year. Inpartnership with the Education Nationale (national department of education), they mainly target adolescents aged between 14 and 18, accompanied with their parents, offering them the opportunity to meet with over 3,000 company heads. Organised this year in 63 towns (Nantes, Lyon, Lille, Chateauroux…), they will be kicking off in Saint Dizier and Le Mans on 17 January.
No promotions of schools or courses permitted
Thierry-Olivier Gascard, National Coordinator, speaks about the event
in precise, realistic terms: “You don’t find your direction in a single night. But the CCI of Paris that started up the event in 2007 departed from the observation that orientation is a highly stressful process that occupies many without yielding effective results. So they decided to bring together representatives from a number of professional branches to supplement the work of orientation counsellors.”
In 2008, the CCI of France took over management of these events. The Education Nationale also became a partner of the event. The golden rule was established: training organisms are not invited to sell their courses.
“I remember a young man who came last year looking for direction,” confides an organiser from the CCI of Nantes. “The accountant he met during the event shattered all his prejudices about the metier. They met again a week later. The teenager then found a training programme.”
Relaxed evenings for finding your way
Speed-dating events, concerts, theatre, cooking workshops organised by hotel-school apprentices… any means possible are used to make these evenings relaxed; it is up to each participating Chamber to innovate to a maximum.
With budgets oscillating between 25,000 and 30,000 euros per evening at a time when the trend is belt-tightening, someChambers have had to abandon the project while others have joined the programme for the first time. “Often people have a very limited vision of the economic world,” recalls Thierry-Olivier Gascard. “These evenings don’t claim to be the Swiss knife one-size fits all solution, but they can remove certain blinkers. And above all, they offer an after-sales service all year round with information days, open
doors, learning days, as well as mini-workshops.”
Find out if your town is organising a Nuit de l’Orientation: http://www.nuitsdelorientation.fr/